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Study suggests medicinal cannabis may not treat sleep problems in long run

Study suggests medicinal cannabis may not treat sleep problems in long run

Thu, Jan 23, 2020

A recent research has found that medical cannabis may not be able to help treat sleeping problems of people who have chronic pain over the long term. The study which was published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care further suggested that this happens because frequent users might build up tolerance towards the sleep-inducing effects of cannabis and thus, it might become ineffective. Another study based on current evidence suggested that cannabinoids -the active chemicals in medicinal cannabis- do not have a role in cancer-related pain. Chronic pain is thought to affect between 19 percent and 37 percent of adults in the developed world and is often accompanied by sleep problems, including difficulty getting to (latency) and staying asleep, and waking up early. In the first study, researchers assessed the sleep quality and pain scores of 128 people who were being treated at a specialist pain clinic and found that 66 of them used medicinal cannabis to manage their sleep problems while 62 of them did not. In the second study, researchers wanted to find out if cannabinoids--active compounds (THC or CBD); THC extract; medicinal cannabis; and approved drugs containing cannabis--might effectively reduce cancer pain. They searched out data from clinical trials comparing the use of cannabinoids with dummy pills (placebo) or when used in addition to opioids to relieve cancer pain in adults. The researchers accept that a pain score might not be the best measure to adequately capture the complexity of longstanding pain. Nevertheless, they conclude that for any medication to be useful, its pros need to outweigh its cons.

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